Commander Nursing Center was cited after the facility “failed to ensure that all residents remained free of abuse/neglect.” The facility did not do four vital things after three residents brought forth allegations of abuse/neglect:

  1. Identity allegations/complaints as abuse/neglect;
  2. Immediately implement safeguards to prevent further violations;
  3. Report the allegations to appropriate authorities within the required time frames;
  4. Conduct thorough investigations for the 3 residents who reported abuse/neglect.

According to the citation, staff members failed to assist Resident #1 with using the restroom when they requested help. Instead, staff members instructed the resident to use their disposable brief, which “would reasonably result in shame/humiliation.”

According to a Social Service note, the resident stated they put their call light on to get help using the restroom. When a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) answered the call light, the CNA told the resident to use the brief they were in. When the resident stated they would be wet, the CNA said “just do it.” The resident then wet themselves. The note also stated that the CNA was very short with the resident, but it’s not the first time the CNA has been “ugly” towards the resident.

Resident #2 reported that staff members were “rough and spoke abusively at times.” The resident was in a lot of pain due to previous broken hips, one of which was now inoperable and caused the resident “excruciating pain.” According to the resident’s complaint, a CNA was often rough with the resident and “fusses” with the resident at times. The investigator of this citation asked the resident how it made them feel when the CNA was rough with them; they began to cry and could not answer.

The investigator then interviewed the Director of Nursing (DON) regrading the rough handling. She stated she had not identified the CNA’s actions as abuse or “investigated [the complaint] as an allegation of abuse/neglect.” The DON said she talked to the staff, but there were no written statements.

Resident #3 did not receive help for incontinence over a 9 hour period. The resident stated they sat in a wet brief with a puddle under their chair from 7 AM to 4 PM. The resident also said that no one checked on them throughout the morning; the cubical curtain is usually pulled between them and a roommate, and the staff “does not usually come in to check on [the resident].” Documentation from the DON stated the following regarding the allegation: “After talking with staff, this did not occur. Resident experienced intermittent confusion.”

According to the citation, “There was no evidence of how the DON came to this conclusion. There was no evidence of any investigation of the complaint. There were no documented subsequent interviews with the resident in an attempt to validate the information. There were no written statements by staff or documented staff or roommate interviews. There was no evidence that the incident was reported to the State Agency.”

When abuse/neglect allegations come forward, there are many steps facilities must take to ensure the safety the residents. Commander Nursing Home’s neglect and abuse policy states the following:

When abuse, neglect, or exploitation is suspected, the Licensed Nurse should:

  • Respond to the needs of the resident and protect them from further incident (document).
  • Notify the Director of Nursing and Administrator (document).
  • Initiate an investigation immediately.
  • Notify the attending physician, resident’s family/legal representative and Medical Director.
  • Obtain witness statements.
  • Contact the State Agency and the local Ombudsman office to report the alleged abuse.

For all three residents, the proper procedures were not followed.

Don’t Wait. Get Help for Nursing Home Abuse Today.

If you suspect nursing home abuse, we will provide a free, confidential case evaluation with no obligation to hire us. With nearly 250 years of shared experience, Joye Law Firm attorneys are consistently recognized by clients and peers at the highest level of professional excellence. We make sure to fight hard for our clients and are honest with them every step of the way.

About the Author

Since 1968, the South Carolina personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys of Joye Law Firm have been committed to securing compensation for accident and injury victims. Our compassionate and dedicated lawyers have nearly 250 years of combined litigation experience, and many of them have been recognized as South Carolina Super Lawyers. For many years, our South Carolina personal injury law firm has been listed with an AV rating in the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.

Recent Blog Post
What to Do if Someone is Tailgating You

Tailgating or following too closely behind another car is dangerous behavior, and often a form of road rage. It can easily lead to rear-end collisions and injury accidents. In South Carolina, 3,494 people were injured in 2019 by drivers following…

south carolina statute of limitations personal injury
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Claim in South Carolina?

South Carolina law gives a person who has been injured by another party’s action or inaction three years in most situations to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries, financial losses, and pain and suffering. If the claim is…

How to Stay Out of Other Drivers’ Blind Spots on Your Motorcycle

Bikers need to be aware of all potential hazards on the road. That’s because the consequences of a minor collision on a motorcycle can be much more severe than in a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,…

Who is Liable for Boating Accidents in Bad Weather?

Boating is a popular recreational activity in South Carolina, with thousands of people taking to the state’s lakes, rivers and shores every year. However, weather conditions can often shift abruptly, and failing to stay informed and take the necessary precautions…

Awards & Recognition
Media
CBS News
Fox
NBC
ABC